“If only we still had our cubic gate!,” bemoans Y’Draesk after the moot. “Wait a moment,” says Erenion in surprise. “A cubic gate? Like this one?" he states, pulling a bejeweled cube out from a belt pouch…
And so it begins…
Attendance: Erenion, Juniper, Pr’Gillis, Thangil, Yestamir, Quingle, Fadriewien, Eqximiye, and Y’Draesk.
“Good morning, Lady Carlack,” said Rille, as Eqximiye left her chambers. Rille, a well-tanned, dusky elf, was waiting outside the door, as he did every morning.
“Good morning Rille. I am meeting my guests at the Chaos Tables this morning for breakfast. Is there anything I need to handle before then?”
“Nothing that requires your personal attention, my Lady.” Rille bowed low as he responded.
“Very good then,” she replied.
“Except, perhaps…” Rille said hesitantly.
“Perhaps?” she asked, pausing and giving him a steady look.
“There is news about Fo’wyn, my Lady, and about Borsa.”
“She missed the War Council.” Eqximiye frowned pensively. “What is this news?”
“Lady Borsa has taken her husband and left the city.”
“Has she, indeed? Well, I expect she will take excellent care of him.” Still, Eqximiye continued to frown as she turned down the corridor leading to the gardens. As she arrived, she saw Erenion presiding over the gathering, as he prepared to cast the Heroes’ Feast.
“Lady Eqximiye!” called out a wild-looking pixie in greeting.
“Good morning to you, Juniper of the Grey.” She responded cheerfully, dismissing her concerns about her sick friend for the moment, since he was beyond her aid. “And to you as well, Brambletail.”
“Brambletail and I are pleased to greet you on this fine morning,” said the pixie, formally.
“I am most pleased to hear it,” replied Eqximiye graciously. “How did you like your chambers? Did you rest well?”
“We rested pleasantly, thank you.” The pixie answered, and then stood looking expectantly at Eqximiye, clearly waiting for something. Eqximiye cast around, looking for a distraction.
Her eyes fell on Pr’Gillis, who was just arriving.
“Pr’Gillis!” she cried, snagging him by the arm, “let me introduce you to Lady Juniper of the Grey and her noble steed and companion, Brambletail!”
“Well met,” Pr’Gillis said politely, bowing to the small fey. Eqximiye managed to slip away once the introduction was made, finding Y’Draesk already seated beside Erenion.
Sliding into the seat next to him, Eqximiye murmured, “Did you hear that Borsa took Fo’wyn and left sometime in the night?”
Y’Draesk shook his head in surprise. Seated across from him, Thangil and Quingle heard her questions and indicate that the news is a surprise to them as well.
Gradually, everyone takes their seats and Erenion casts the Heroes’ Feast spell. The mood is cheerful and festive, and so few notice that Malachitrix is in a bad mood. Quingle has to keep nudging him so he will stop glaring at Brambletail and Juniper. Once everyone has eaten their fill, Erenion and a few others cast some additional buffs. The familiars climb into the “familiar pouches”. Fadrie climbs into Erenion’s portable hole, and the party travels to the Astral as planned.
The familiars and Fadrie climb out of the pouches and the group waits for the portal to close. Once it does, Eqximiye presses the side labeled for the Prime Material, and a color pool appears. It is smooth, convex crystalline with silver and gold streaks, which means it is a pocket plane.
Thangil sees something coming in our direction, humanoid in shape. The shape notices us, and turns away, keeping a distance from the group.
We spend some time looking at the portal. Finally, Erenion decides to pray for guidance.
“Oh Fenmarel, please tell me if we should enter this portal. As a god of chaos, I expect you to be as vague and unhelpful as usual, but feel free to surprise me.”
As he finishes speaking, divets burn into the crystalline surface shaped as follows:
• Feather shape on top – recessed and flat
• Circle on left – smooth perfect hemisphere
• Rock on right – jagged inset
• Fuzzy pacman on bottom – recessed and flat
The group expects Eqximiye to click in the side for the Plane of Shadows. She intends to do this, but as a joke, tosses the cube in the air saying, “Give chance a chance.”
The cube spins in her hand, and instead of the Plane of Shadow, the group ends up on Arvandor. Luckily, Juniper recognizes the territory and leads the group to a meadow with a rock face and a large checkered cloth spread on the ground.
An elf comes out of a hut painted to look like the rock face. The elf has the greenest eyes anyone has ever seen, with silver streaks. He has fresh baked bread, hot chocolate and other tasty treats. He begins spreading out his feast. Juniper clearly recognizes him, and is friendly.
“Sir Erryhn,” she says, “well met.”
“Ah, Juniper,” he says pleasantly, “won’t you and your friends join me for a picnic? No obligations.”
“We should be delighted,” she replied. The party sits down to eat. One of the offerings is a large bowl of blue berries, the size of a fist. Y’Draesk and Eqximiye exchange a glance. Eqximiye turns to Thangil.
“Try the berries, Thangil. They’re delicious.”
“Really?” says Thangil, tentatively taking a large blue berry.
“Just bite into it,” Eqximiye says encouragingly.
When Thangil bites into the berry, purple juice gushes out to cover his chin, immediately staining his skin blue.
While the group makes merry with their host, Malachitrix studies him carefully. Finally,
Malachitrix cries “Hey, he’s a…” but the elf interrupts him.
“Shhh!” he says, and Malachitrix promptly falls asleep.
“Do you know a safe place in the Abyss to purchase wine?” asks Erenion. Sir Erryhn immediately writes down directions to such a place, and gives it to Erenion.
The group questions the motivation of their strange host. Finally, several of the party begin to realize that this elf is the same individual they have encountered before in the form of an enormous, ancient green dragon! Additional conversation begins to suggest that his true form is not draconic. Eventually, it starts to become clear that this elf is actually Erevan Ilsere, the elven god of Mischief, Change, Rogues and Changelings.
The elf looks around, clears his throat and says, “Some of us have decided to invest some resources in a long shot, and maybe if you prove worthy that long shot could be a fall back, a lifeboat, for you.” He gestures to the cubic gate.
The party questions Erevan closely, gaining the understanding that they will need to go to each of the sides of the cube to obtain the keys that will open the pocket plane. It is made clear that Erevan has some unlikely allies in this endeavor, and the majority of the elven pantheon are not among them.
Ultimately, the party can think of no further questions, and is ready to leave. They go up a hill to a stone circle. From there, they use the cubic gate to travel to the Astral. Upon arrival, they are next to a bright blue color pool. The group decides to go to the Prime Material and open the portal to the Plane of Shadow from there.
We pop into the grove near Greycliff. Erenion clicks a portal into existence to the Plane of Shadow. He hands the cube to Eqximiye and steps through. He immediately steps back through and Eqximiye closes the portal. He explains that there is a “leak” from the negative plane that hurt him immediately.
The group moves outside the grove and tries again. They find an acceptable entrance to the Plane of Shadow and pass through. The terrain looks like a twisted version of Greycliff and the surrounding land. Quingle attaches himself to the leyline. Immediately, something becomes aware of him.
In the hill beneath the group, a nightcrawler stirs and attacks. The party defeats this foe before taking too much damage. The retrieve 8000 gold pieces, 15 gems and fifty +4 enchanted arrows. They return to the palace to rest and regroup.